Be|Together 2012 – Civil Forecast: Sunny and Bright!

The recent Bentley Conference in Philadelphia was chock-full of information, both on existing products and of course with previews of what’s coming. In the vein of the latter, Bentley used the platform of Greg Bentley’s keynote to announce OpenRoads, the Civil SS3 platform shared by their 3 major Civil Design Packages: InRoads, Geopak and MXRoads. While each will still exist, the underlying core will be shared.

So what does that mean?

Well, for starters the shared code means more work can be put into advancing the overall civil product line instead of spreading resources out between three product lines. In addition to helping streamline Bentley’s development, it also means much more commonality between the products, making it easier for those who have to use more than one, or translate information between them. We’ve already been reaping some of the benefits as the 3 products have been merging (think templates and Roadway Designer in Geopak, Site Modeler in InRoads, etc.) This new platform just takes us to the next level.

What changes should we expect?

There are several, but some of the major ones include:

  • Surfaces are now Terrain Models in MicroStation and stored in the DGN.

As announced here previously, there’s a new element type in the DGN which allows this functionality – as a matter of fact, you may have seen it already if you’ve installed MicroStation SS3. However, to get the full InRoads-like functionality you must be running one of the civil applications. What about current DTMs and TINs? They can be imported and exported, so you don’t have to worry. You can even still use them in their native format if you prefer.

  • Geometry is now stored in the DGN as well.

You may have used Civil Geometry tools in SS2, and for SS3 they’ve been enhanced and Vertical Geometry tools have been added. Just like Terrain Models, the ALG and GPK files can be imported, exported or used in their native format.

  • Roadway Designer is gone, as Corridor Modeling has taken over its responsibilities.

Now, instead of using a dialog where you see previews of plan, profile and section, you’ll see real-time modeling of the corridor in your MicroStation file. But not to worry, your ITL is still safe and you can use all your V8i templates in the new version.

But what if I’m stuck in my ways?

Chill. With the exception of Roadway Designer, you can still work with the old commands using your data files in their native formats. You can even have the InRoads SS2 and SS3 versions on the same machine and run both using MicroStation SS3. But trust me. After you’ve had your hands on SS3, you won’t be needing SS2 much longer.

For more information on OpenRoads, CLICK HERE to see what Bentley has to say.

Stay tuned as we bring you more information on the new civil world … the future looks bright!

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